It is hard for most independent advisors to imagine FINRA, which monitors the brokerage industry, providing oversight to RIAs. The regulator upholds a professional standard for commission-driven brokers that some say veers off sharply from the one to which independent fee-based advisors subscribe. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 has the advisory profession on the cusp of major changes.

Next month the SEC reports to Congress on its recommendations for enhancing examinations for investment advisors. FINRA, meanwhile, is trying to persuade movers and shakers on the Hill that it already has the answers.

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